‘The B’ Marketing Initiative Planned For City Bus System

OCEAN CITY – The resort’s bus transportation system is to become “The B” to encourage riders to pay the $3 fare and increase ridership.

Andy Malis, president of MGH, the town’s contracted advertising firm, presented the beach bus presentation at this week’s meeting that exhibited the bus’s new slogan and advertising.

“What is important in re-branding the bus is to get more people to ride the bus,” Malis said.

Ocean City’s bus system offers two fares, a $3 all-day pass and $1-per-ride flat rate. Malis said the new campaign’s goal is to get more people to recognize the value.

The first item MGH presented was the new branding for the bus, “The B”, and its new tag line, “Ride the B anywhere in OC”, to encourage people to use it all through town everywhere that they go.

“We want people to think about and talk about that they are going to ride ‘The B’, that is the beach bus here,” Malis said. “A lot of towns use letters or symbols for their transportation system and this is exactly what this was fashioned after.”

Malis presented several different images where the bus system and its new branding would be advertised, including new bus stop signs, the fare boxes on the bus and signage on the side of the buses, on the window next to the entrance of the bus, the interior of bus, airplane banners and by boat.

“Another thought was printing up bar coasters and distributing them to bars and restaurants all over town to remind people if you are drinking, we would like to get you on the bus and not drive,” Malis said. “We have had a lot of success at MGH with other clients using bar coasters in advertising because it certainly is your audience.”

Malis presented several different tag lines to catch potential bus riders attention; “Fare Prices are Fair”, “A Small Price to Pay for all Day”, “All Day, All Night, All for $3”, “Your Feet Will Thank You All Day”, “Here, There, and Everywhere”, “Park Your Seat, Not Your Car”, “Let Us Take You To Dinner”, “Your Shopping Bags are Less Heavy Here”, “All Aboard for the Boardwalk”, “Boogey Boards on Board”, “The Boardwalk is Fun, the Walk Back Isn’t”, and “Take a Ride to the Rides”.

“We are trying to cover everything about Ocean City in these signs,” Malis said. “It is a fun way to re-unite people with using the bus and hopefully get more ridership this summer.”

Mayor Rick Meehan concluded the town has exhibited the same bus logo since around 1991 when the all-day fare was established.

“Riding ‘The B’ will catch on and the young people will catch onto it faster and it will become something that is catchy to them … it is a good idea, it is something new, it is something fresh, and I think it accentuates there is a value and the value is the $3 all day,” the mayor said.